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PH Vaccine Contracts So Far Cover Only 6.2% of Population-Bloomberg

But a deal for more may be signed by the end of the year.
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The Philippines has so far signed contracts to procure vaccines for the coronavirus enough to cover about 6.62 million of its citizens, or about 6.2 percent of the population. 

This is according to an extensive study by Bloomberg, which tracked publicly disclosed allocations of the vaccine and held it against available population data.

The country is right around the middle of Bloomberg’s list, which is topped by Canada.The North American country has so far reportedly reserved more than four times the vaccines needed to inoculate its population. The country already has vaccines for 191.9 million people, which is 511.3% of its total population. 

A far second is the United Kingdom, which has vaccines enough for about 196.85 million people, enough to cover 294.7% of its population.

Not far behind are New Zealand (12.15 million people, 246.8 percent) and Australia (56.68 million people, 229.9 percent). 

Others in the top 10 are European nations Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and the Czech Republic.

Meanwhile, the Philippines is just slightly above 95 countries that Bloomberg is reporting to have procured vaccines enough for five percent of their respective populations. 

According to Bloomberg, the data does not include vaccines that will be produced domestically “under terms that have not been disclosed.” The calculations for populations covered also takes into account the number of doses required by each vaccine.

China and Russia have both developed and authorized their own vaccines as early as July and have so far already inoculated over one million of their citizens.

According to Bloomberg’s tracker, at least six vaccines are already available for public use in multiple countries. These are Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca-Oxford, Novavax, and Johnson & Johnson and Sinovac Biotech. 

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The news platform also estimates that as many as 8.2 billion vaccine doses have been set aside by countries that have struck deals with different manufacturers. While that is more than enough to cover over half of the world’s population, “(r)ich countries have accumulated extensive supply deals, and ultra-cold storage requirements make some vaccines difficult to deliver to far-flung places. Some countries may have to wait until 2022 or later before supplies are widely available.”

Locally, the Philippines is expected to sign a supply deal with vaccine manufacturer AstraZeneca before the end of the year. That deal involves 20 million doses for local governments and 10 million doses for the private sector. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin also said the country has been assured of at least 30 million doses of the Indian-made Novavax, which is expected to be available by July 2021.

The Department of Health has also assured the public that the country will have enough doses to cover as much as 20 percent of the population by 2021 through the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX).

The Philippines has already announced that it intends to borrow about $325 million (P15.6 billion) from the Asian Development Bank to finance its COVID-19 vaccine procurement.

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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